How to Get a Life Insurance License in North Carolina

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

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How to Get a Life Insurance License in North Carolina

Getting your North Carolina life insurance license is the first step toward becoming a life insurance agent in the state.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) requires you to complete a five-step process to become a life insurance agent in North Carolina — from taking the life insurance exam to applying for a license.

These steps will take a few weeks to complete so we recommend you bookmark this page so you can use it as a reference throughout the process.

How to Get Your North Carolina Life Insurance License

  1. Complete a North Carolina Insurance Pre-license Course (Kaplan Education Company – $149+)
  2. Complete a North Carolina Life Insurance License Application (National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) – $100 application fee + $5.60 transaction fee)
  3. Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check (NIPR – $38)
  4. Take the North Carolina Life Insurance Licensing Exam (Pearson VUE – $45)
  5. Watch for Your Application Results

Life Insurance License North Carolina

Obtaining your North Carolina life insurance license isn’t difficult. Just follow these five steps to start your journey toward becoming a life insurance agent. Once you earn this license, check out our guide on how to get your North Carolina property and casualty (P&C) license as well.

Step 1: Complete a North Carolina Insurance Pre-license Course

Before you take the North Carolina life insurance licensing exam, it’s important to make time to acquire the knowledge you’ll need to pass this exam on your first attempt. Completing a pre-license education course will equip you with the necessary information and tools you’ll need to prepare for your exam.

In North Carolina, you must take a 20-hour, pre-license course on life insurance. After completing the course, you’ll need to present a valid photo ID and an original certificate of completion from the approved prelicensing education provider when you arrive to take your exam. Your pre-license course certificate will remain valid for 12 months.

A pre-license education course provides very specific industry knowledge that will be tested during the exam. There is very little information on the test that could be considered “common sense.” Pre-license education courses are self-paced and include study materials like practice exams and flashcards.

Beyond helping you effectively prepare for and pass the life insurance licensing exam on your first try, taking a pre-license education course also will give you a solid understanding of your duties as a life insurance agent.

Recommended

Doing a pre-licensing education course dramatically increases your chance of passing your exam on your first attempt, which can end up saving you both time and money in the long run. For pre-licensing education, StateRequirement recommends:

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

Step 2: Complete a North Carolina Life Insurance License Application

Once you complete your pre-licensing education course, you can apply for your North Carolina life insurance license. The fee for an online application submitted via the NIPR is $50 per line of authority plus a $44 application fee, the $38 fingerprinting fee, and a $5.60 NIPR transaction fee for a total cost of $137.60.

The NCDOI will issue a life insurance license to individuals who are at least 18 years old and have passed the proper licensing exam. 

To apply for a life insurance license in North Carolina, make sure you comply with the insurance licensing requirements as defined under the North Carolina Insurance Code and North Carolina Administrative Code.

Send any questions or supporting documents to ASD@ncdoi.gov.

Step 3: Get a Fingerprint-Based Background Check

After you apply for your North Carolina life insurance license, you must get a fingerprint-based background check packet from the NIPR. Schedule your fingerprinting appointment with any of the approved vendors in this list of North Carolina Electronic Fingerprint Submission Locations. Please read the instructions on this document carefully because some of the locations may not provide your fingerprinting results directly to the NCDOI, which means you’ll have to do so manually. The fee for fingerprinting is $38, which you should have already paid to the NIPR when you submitted your application.

At your fingerprinting appointment, you’ll receive a receipt. Don’t throw it away! Keep the original receipt for your records.

After completing your fingerprint-based background check, you must pass your licensing exam within one year. If you fail to do so, you’ll need to retake the exam.

Step 4: Take the North Carolina Life Insurance Licensing Exam

After you submit your application and complete your fingerprint-based background check, it’s time to take the North Carolina life insurance exam.

North Carolina uses Pearson VUE as its official testing service for delivering licensure exams.

The North Carolina life insurance exam outline contains a total of 55 scored questions that cover five sections: 

  • Types of Individual Life Insurance
  • Annuities
  • Policy Provisions, Options, and Other Features
  • Other Life Topics
  • North Carolina Statutes and Regulations Pertinent to Life

You’ll have 75 minutes to complete the exam. The North Carolina life insurance exam fee is $45, which you must pay at the time of reservation by credit card, debit card, or voucher. The exam is a proctored test, meaning an official proctor will closely monitor you in a controlled environment.

If you happen to fail the North Carolina life insurance exam, you can schedule a time to retake it as soon as 24 hours after your first attempt. A North Carolina Examination Admission Ticket is valid for 90 days or five examination attempts during that 90-day period — whichever comes first.

Tip

Check out our in-depth insurance exam guide for tips to help you pass on the first attempt.

The best way to understand if you are prepared for the test is to take a Life Insurance Practice Exam.

Step 5: Watch for Your Application Results

After you complete the previous four steps, the NCDOI will review your application and background check. It reviews applications in the order it receives them, and this process usually takes two to three business days.

Once the NCDOI finishes reviewing your application, it’ll email you with its decision or ask you to provide more information.

You can print your license from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) State Based Systems (SBS) website. There’s no charge to create an account or print a license. If you don’t remember your license number, you can find it by using the NAIC SBS Lookup tool.

Congratulations!

You’re now ready to get started as a life insurance agent in North Carolina.

Steps After Securing Your North Carolina Life Insurance License

Once you complete the above steps and have your North Carolina life insurance license, there are a few steps you’ll need to take in order to a) excel as an insurance agent, and b) maintain your life insurance license.

Let’s take a brief look at these below.

Obtain All Relevant Securities Licenses

If you’re planning on selling advanced life insurance products, you’ll likely need to pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and obtain the relevant securities licenses (e.g., Series 6, 7, and 63).

For more information on this step, you can have a look at our in-depth Securities Licensing overview.

Choose a Means of Selling

You’ll have to decide whether you’d prefer working as a captive agent employed by one company, or running your own business as an independent agent.

If you’re just starting out, you’ll likely benefit from working as a captive agent, but this will ultimately depend on your personal aspirations and opportunities.

Develop Your Marketing Approach

To succeed as an insurance agent, you’ll need to adopt a marketing approach that’s effective for you.

We recommend finding and sticking to a niche, as well organizing all client appointments for the start of your week. This is because this can improve your overall client conversions.

Keep Your License Valid

In North Carolina, you’ll need to complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years to renew your license.

Three of those hours must focus on ethics.

To avoid delays in renewing your license, you’ll need to complete the required CE hours at least 60 days before your license expires.

This will give your CE provider enough time to successfully report your completion to the NCDOI. 

Keep in mind that there is a $84 renewal fee that will need to be paid.

For a more in-depth look at each one of these steps, check out our Steps After Getting Your Insurance License guide.

North Carolina Department of Insurance Contact Information

Mailing Address

North Carolina Department of Insurance
1201 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1201

Phone: (919) 807-6800

Email: ASD@ncdoi.gov

Website: http://www.ncdoi.com/

License Search: North Carolina Insurance License Lookup

North Carolina Life Insurance License FAQ

How much does it cost to get a life insurance license in North Carolina?

Obtaining a life insurance license in North Carolina requires these fees:
Insurance Pre-license Education Course Fee: $149+ via Kaplan Education Company
Application Fee: $100 + $5.60 transaction fee via the NIPR
Fingerprint-Based Background Check Fee: $38 via the NIPR (paid along with the application fee)
Exam Fee: $45 via Pearson VUE

How long does it take to process a life insurance license application in North Carolina?

This process typically takes two to three business days. You’ll receive an email once the NCDOI finishes reviewing your application.

Can I get a temporary life insurance agent license in North Carolina?

No. North Carolina doesn’t provide a temporary life insurance license.

Can I get an emergency life insurance agent license in North Carolina?

No. An emergency license isn’t available for life insurance agents in North Carolina.

Do I need to get my securities license on top of a life insurance license in North Carolina?

Probably. While you can sell certain basic life insurance products with just a life insurance license, a securities license removes the limits on what you can sell and puts you in a much better career position. As a securities license holder, you can provide your clients with products tied to the securities market as part of their retirement and life insurance plans. But, you’ll need FINRA accreditation to obtain your securities license.

What can I sell with a life insurance license in North Carolina?

With a North Carolina life insurance license, you can sell life insurance policies that pay a designated beneficiary when the insured person dies. You also can sell annuities that pay a set income at retirement.

How much can you make with a life insurance license in North Carolina?

According to ZipRecruiter, life insurance agents earn an average of $79,730 per year.

What are the limitations of a North Carolina life insurance license?

Unless you have multiple licenses to sell various types of insurance products (e.g., the combined life and health insurance license), having a North Carolina life insurance license only qualifies you to sell life insurance policies as well as retirement plans and annuities. You can’t sell other types of insurance. A securities license on top of your life insurance license removes that limitation and enables you to offer securities, including stocks and bonds.

Can I cancel my life insurance license in North Carolina?

Yes. Return your license along with a signed, written request to cancel it to the NCDOI at the below address. If you can’t find your license, simply submit a signed statement requesting the cancellation of your North Carolina life insurance license. The statement must include your name, state, National Producer Number (NPN), and the license you want to cancel. The NCDOI’s Agent Services Division accepts third-party license cancellations for company-sponsored licenses only.
North Carolina Department of Insurance
Agent Services Division
1204 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1204

How hard is it to get a life insurance license in North Carolina?

The process is quite simple! Follow the steps above and get started today!

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